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University of the Punjab , Department of English Language & Literature.
Lahore, Pakistan
Morph = form or shape
Ology = study of
• The study of internal structures of words
• How words are constructed out of smaller units
(morphemes)
– Which have a meanings or grammatical function
e.g.
– friendly ----- constructed from friend & adjective
forming -ly
• How words can be modified
Morphology
Structure of
words
Word
Formation
Morpheme
Morpheme
Sound Unit
Meaning
Unit
Smallest unit
of language
Basic Concept Of Word Structure
• The number, order of and type of morphemes
– used to make up a particular word is called its
structure
• Morphologists study
– the meanings of the various morphemes
– their patterns of distribution { the structures}
• Morphemes do not combine in arbitrary ways
– They have specific patterns to the distribution of
morphemes
– e.g. rewrite = write-re, walks = s-walk
• The structure of words can be represented by trees
Classification Of Morphemes
Free Morphemes/ roots
if morpheme is able to appear as a word by
itself
Bound Morphemes/ affixes
if morpheme can only appear as part of a
larger, multi-morphemic
Basic Concepts and Terms
Stem (root, base): the morpheme to
which other morphemes are
added
free (e.g. teacher, dresses, unkind)
Stem
bound (e.g. inept, unkempt)
Stem & Affix
Stem : carries the basic meaning
Affixes /attachments carry additional, often grammatical
meanings
KINDS OF AFFIXES
Suffixes: are attached to the end of the stem;
Prefixes: are attached to the front of the stem;
Infixes: are put in the middle of the word;
Ablaut: is a change in a vowel that carries extra meaning;
• Suffixes are the most common e.g.
– the past tense : matter of adding -ed to the stem;
– the present participle is made by adding -ing;
– the plural of a noun is made by adding -s.
Affix
Prefix e.g. Unhappy
Infix e.g. Mother- in- law
Suffix e.g. Happiness
Ablaut e.g. Sing Sang
Allomorphs
• When a morpheme is pronounced by more than one sound
pattern, we call the variations allomorphs e.g.
• English plural morpheme –s is pronounced in three ways:
– dogs (dog[z]) cats (cat[s]) judges (judg[ɪz])
-s [z] -s [s] -s [ɪz] an allomorph of the plural
morpheme
• To describe this situation, we can say:
– English has one plural morpheme, -s.
– English has three allomorphs of the plural morpheme
• Another example: English indefinite article
– English has two allomorphs of an indefinite article:
– a dog an apple
Types of
Morpheme
Free
morpheme
lexical functional
Bound
morpheme
derivational inflectional
Free
Morpheme
lexical
(open
class)
has lexical
meaning
N, Verb, Adj,
Adv
functional
(closed
class)
function
words
Pro, Prep,
Conj, Art.
Bound Morpheme
Derivational Inflectional
form new words Different forms
of the same word
may change syntactic class Not change syntactic
class
-able, un-, re-, etc ’s, -s, -ing, -ed/-
en, -est,er
Word Structure
• Words are the fundamental building blocks of
language
• Intuitively, learning a language learning
words
• Words may be the basis for the organization of
language in the brain:
• sound system words syntax
meaning
Word Structure
• Each word has internal structure
– A word is not just a sequence of morphemes
• Morphemes are added in a strict order - reflecting a hierarchy
within the word e.g. “unsystematic”
The first step
– attaches a derivational sufix “atic”
– to the (free) root noun
– This forms an adjective
The second step
– takes this adjective,attache a derivational prefix “un”
– create a new word, with the same category word
“unsystematic”
Tree structure
Adjective
Un Adjective
(Derivational)
Noun
System -atic
(Free root) (derivational)
Some Rules
• Noun + atic Adjective (Systematic)
• Un + Adjective Adjective (Unhappy)
• Adjective + al Adjective
(Egotistical, Fantastical)
• Noun + al Adjective
(Autumnal, National)
• Adjective + ly Adverb
(Happily, Hopefully)
• Using these rules, work out the tree structure for
“unsystematically”
Unsystematically (Adverb)
unsystematically (adverb)
unsystematic (adj) -ly
unsystematic (adj) -al
un- + systematic (adj)
system (noun) + -atic
The Tree Represents
• The application of two morphological rules
1.Noun+ atic→Adjective systematic
2.Un+Adjective→Adjective unsystematic
– The rule for -al is as follows
3.Adjective+al→Adjective
– Another affix is -ly, which is added to adjective to
form adverb
4. Adjective+ly→ Adverb
More Rules
• Verb + able Adjective
– (Adorable, Desirable)
• Adjective + en Verb
– (Darken)
• Noun Adjective = ish/esque/ous/ate/ful/ic/like
– boyish, picturesque, joyous, affectionate, healthful, alcoholi
c, lifelike
• Verb Noun = al/ance/ation/ence/er/ist/ion/dom
– clearance, conference, singer, prediction, freedom
• Adjective Adverb = ly (exactly, quietly)
• Noun Verb = ize/ate/ish/n
– moralize, vaccinate, brandish, hasten
More Rules
• Not all derivational morphemes cause a change in grammatical
Class
– friend+ship, human+ity, un+do, re+cover, in+flammable
• This is often the case with prefixes:
– a+moral, auto+biography, ex+wife, super+human, re+pri
nt, semi+annual
• suffixes:
– vicar+age, old+ish, America+n, music+ian
• Best to be familiar with a few examples of
• Noun Adjective, Adjective
Adverb, Verb Adjective, Adjective
Verb,
Verb Noun
Types of Word Formation
1. Compounding
2. Prefixation
3. Suffixation
4. Conversion
5. Clipping
6. Blends
7. Backformation
8. Acronyms
9. Onomatopoeia
10. Eponyms
11. Toponyms
12. Reduplication
13. Coining
1. Compounding
• Two or more words joined together to form a
new word.
• Examples:
–Pick + pocket  pickpocket
–Home + work  homework
• The meaning of a compound is not always the
sum of the meanings of its parts
Types of compounds
–Compound nouns
–Compound verbs
–Compound adjectives
Compound Nouns
1. Boyfriend, hatchback
2. Cut-throat, breakfast
3. Sunshine, birth control
4. Software, fast food
5. In-crowd, overkill
6. Drop-out, put-on
1. Noun + Noun
2. Verb + Noun
3. Noun + Verb
4. Adjective + Noun
5. Particle + Noun
6. Verb + Particle
Compound Verbs
1. Carbon-copy, sky-dive
2. Fine-tune
3. Overbook
4. Bad-mouth
1. Noun + Verb
2. Adjective + Verb
3. Particle + Verb
4. Adjective + Noun
Compound Adjectives
1. Capital-intensive
2. Deaf-mute
3. Coffee-table
4. Roll-neck
5. White-collar
6. Before-tax
7. Go-go
1. Noun + Adjective
2. Adjective + Adjective
3. Noun + Noun
4. Verb + Noun
5. Adjective + Noun
6. Particle + Noun
7. Verb-verb
2. Prefixation
• Class-changing prefixes:
– a-  asleep  V to Adj
– be-  bewitch  N to V
– en-  enslave  N to V
• Class-maintaining prefixes:
– in-  indefinite  Adj to Adj
– fore-  foreman  N to N
– Etc.
3. Suffixation
• Suffixes forming Nouns
–N from N: -dom  kingdom
–N from V: -ee  employee
–N from Adj: -ce  dependence
Forming Verbs
• Suffixes forming Verbs
–V from N: -ify  beautify
–V from Adj: -en  shorten
Forming adjective, adverbs
• Suffixes forming adjectives
–Adj from N: -al  educational
–Adj from V: -able  understandable
–Adj from Adj: -ish  greenish
• Suffixes forming Adverbs: -ly, -ward, and –
wise
4. Conversion
• Assigning an already existing word to a new
syntactic category
• Types of Conversion
– Verb to Noun: to hit  a hit
– Adj to N: a final game  a final
– N to V: a sign  to sign
– Adj to V: an empty box  to empty
5. Clipping
• part of a free morpheme is cut off
(i.e., shortening a polysyllabic word); often
in casual speech
prof. auto
lab ad
bike
doc sub
6. Blends
• similar to compounding
• but parts of the free morphemes involved are lost
• (usually 1st part of 1st word + end of 2nd word)
brunch (breakfast+ lunch)
smog (smoke+ fog)
motel (motor+ hotel)
newscast (news + broadcast)
perma-press (permanent press)
7. Back-formations
• A word (usually a noun) is reduced to form
another word of a different type (usually a
verb)
editor edit
donation donate
burglar burgle
zipper zip
television televise
babysitter babysit
8. Acronyms (1)
• abbreviate a longer term by taking the initial
letters
A. follow the pronunciation patterns of Eng
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
TOEFL (Test of Eng. as a Foreign Language)
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration)
Acronyms (2)
B. If unpronounceable  each letter is sounded out
separately
ATM (automatic teller machine)
I.Q. (intelligence quotient)
MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)
MTV (music television)
TVBS (television broadcasting service)
VCR (video cassette recorder)
Acronyms (3)
C. Customary to sound out each letter even if
the combined initials can be pronounced.
AIT (American Institute in Taiwan)
UCLA (Univ. of California at Los Angeles)
9. Onomatopoeia
• words imitate sounds in nature (or in technology)
A dog: bow wow or woof-woof
A clock: tick-tock
A rooster: cock-a-doodle-doo
A camera: click
A duck: quack
A cat: meow
Ring of a bell: ding-dong
A cow: moo
A bee: buzz
A snake: hiss
10. Eponyms
• A person after whom a
discovery, invention, place, etc., is named
• Examples:
–Celcius (Anders Celcius)
–Cook Islands (James Cook)
11. Toponyms
a place name, especially one derived from a
topographical feature
• Examples:
– Montana (‘mountains’ in Spanish)
– Mississippi (‘big river’ in Chippewa)
12. Reduplication
full or partial repetition of a free morpheme; sometimes
with variation
full with variation
so-so zigzag
bye-bye dilly-dally
hotch potch
mishmash
13. Coining
• Creating a completely new free
morpheme, which is unrelated to any existing
morphemes; a rare thing
e.g. googol
pooch
Nylon
Morphemes
lexical
free (open classes)
Morphemes functional
(closed classes)
bound derivational
(affixes) inflectional
Summary of Morphology
• Words consist of meaningful units called morphemes
• These, when afixed to a root, can change the meaning or
category of a word
• Two basic forms of word formation
– derivation (using derivational morphemes)
– inflection
• Key to remember is that morphemes are the smallest
meaningful Units
• Words have internal structure in a similar way to sentences
 A Brief Introduction of Morphology

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A Brief Introduction of Morphology

  • 1. University of the Punjab , Department of English Language & Literature. Lahore, Pakistan
  • 2. Morph = form or shape Ology = study of • The study of internal structures of words • How words are constructed out of smaller units (morphemes) – Which have a meanings or grammatical function e.g. – friendly ----- constructed from friend & adjective forming -ly • How words can be modified
  • 5. Basic Concept Of Word Structure • The number, order of and type of morphemes – used to make up a particular word is called its structure • Morphologists study – the meanings of the various morphemes – their patterns of distribution { the structures} • Morphemes do not combine in arbitrary ways – They have specific patterns to the distribution of morphemes – e.g. rewrite = write-re, walks = s-walk • The structure of words can be represented by trees
  • 6. Classification Of Morphemes Free Morphemes/ roots if morpheme is able to appear as a word by itself Bound Morphemes/ affixes if morpheme can only appear as part of a larger, multi-morphemic
  • 7. Basic Concepts and Terms Stem (root, base): the morpheme to which other morphemes are added free (e.g. teacher, dresses, unkind) Stem bound (e.g. inept, unkempt)
  • 8. Stem & Affix Stem : carries the basic meaning Affixes /attachments carry additional, often grammatical meanings KINDS OF AFFIXES Suffixes: are attached to the end of the stem; Prefixes: are attached to the front of the stem; Infixes: are put in the middle of the word; Ablaut: is a change in a vowel that carries extra meaning; • Suffixes are the most common e.g. – the past tense : matter of adding -ed to the stem; – the present participle is made by adding -ing; – the plural of a noun is made by adding -s.
  • 9. Affix Prefix e.g. Unhappy Infix e.g. Mother- in- law Suffix e.g. Happiness Ablaut e.g. Sing Sang
  • 10. Allomorphs • When a morpheme is pronounced by more than one sound pattern, we call the variations allomorphs e.g. • English plural morpheme –s is pronounced in three ways: – dogs (dog[z]) cats (cat[s]) judges (judg[ɪz]) -s [z] -s [s] -s [ɪz] an allomorph of the plural morpheme • To describe this situation, we can say: – English has one plural morpheme, -s. – English has three allomorphs of the plural morpheme • Another example: English indefinite article – English has two allomorphs of an indefinite article: – a dog an apple
  • 12. Free Morpheme lexical (open class) has lexical meaning N, Verb, Adj, Adv functional (closed class) function words Pro, Prep, Conj, Art.
  • 13. Bound Morpheme Derivational Inflectional form new words Different forms of the same word may change syntactic class Not change syntactic class -able, un-, re-, etc ’s, -s, -ing, -ed/- en, -est,er
  • 14. Word Structure • Words are the fundamental building blocks of language • Intuitively, learning a language learning words • Words may be the basis for the organization of language in the brain: • sound system words syntax meaning
  • 15. Word Structure • Each word has internal structure – A word is not just a sequence of morphemes • Morphemes are added in a strict order - reflecting a hierarchy within the word e.g. “unsystematic” The first step – attaches a derivational sufix “atic” – to the (free) root noun – This forms an adjective The second step – takes this adjective,attache a derivational prefix “un” – create a new word, with the same category word “unsystematic”
  • 17.
  • 18. Some Rules • Noun + atic Adjective (Systematic) • Un + Adjective Adjective (Unhappy) • Adjective + al Adjective (Egotistical, Fantastical) • Noun + al Adjective (Autumnal, National) • Adjective + ly Adverb (Happily, Hopefully) • Using these rules, work out the tree structure for “unsystematically”
  • 19. Unsystematically (Adverb) unsystematically (adverb) unsystematic (adj) -ly unsystematic (adj) -al un- + systematic (adj) system (noun) + -atic
  • 20. The Tree Represents • The application of two morphological rules 1.Noun+ atic→Adjective systematic 2.Un+Adjective→Adjective unsystematic – The rule for -al is as follows 3.Adjective+al→Adjective – Another affix is -ly, which is added to adjective to form adverb 4. Adjective+ly→ Adverb
  • 21. More Rules • Verb + able Adjective – (Adorable, Desirable) • Adjective + en Verb – (Darken) • Noun Adjective = ish/esque/ous/ate/ful/ic/like – boyish, picturesque, joyous, affectionate, healthful, alcoholi c, lifelike • Verb Noun = al/ance/ation/ence/er/ist/ion/dom – clearance, conference, singer, prediction, freedom • Adjective Adverb = ly (exactly, quietly) • Noun Verb = ize/ate/ish/n – moralize, vaccinate, brandish, hasten
  • 22. More Rules • Not all derivational morphemes cause a change in grammatical Class – friend+ship, human+ity, un+do, re+cover, in+flammable • This is often the case with prefixes: – a+moral, auto+biography, ex+wife, super+human, re+pri nt, semi+annual • suffixes: – vicar+age, old+ish, America+n, music+ian • Best to be familiar with a few examples of • Noun Adjective, Adjective Adverb, Verb Adjective, Adjective Verb, Verb Noun
  • 23. Types of Word Formation 1. Compounding 2. Prefixation 3. Suffixation 4. Conversion 5. Clipping 6. Blends 7. Backformation 8. Acronyms 9. Onomatopoeia 10. Eponyms 11. Toponyms 12. Reduplication 13. Coining
  • 24. 1. Compounding • Two or more words joined together to form a new word. • Examples: –Pick + pocket  pickpocket –Home + work  homework • The meaning of a compound is not always the sum of the meanings of its parts
  • 25. Types of compounds –Compound nouns –Compound verbs –Compound adjectives
  • 26. Compound Nouns 1. Boyfriend, hatchback 2. Cut-throat, breakfast 3. Sunshine, birth control 4. Software, fast food 5. In-crowd, overkill 6. Drop-out, put-on 1. Noun + Noun 2. Verb + Noun 3. Noun + Verb 4. Adjective + Noun 5. Particle + Noun 6. Verb + Particle
  • 27. Compound Verbs 1. Carbon-copy, sky-dive 2. Fine-tune 3. Overbook 4. Bad-mouth 1. Noun + Verb 2. Adjective + Verb 3. Particle + Verb 4. Adjective + Noun
  • 28. Compound Adjectives 1. Capital-intensive 2. Deaf-mute 3. Coffee-table 4. Roll-neck 5. White-collar 6. Before-tax 7. Go-go 1. Noun + Adjective 2. Adjective + Adjective 3. Noun + Noun 4. Verb + Noun 5. Adjective + Noun 6. Particle + Noun 7. Verb-verb
  • 29. 2. Prefixation • Class-changing prefixes: – a-  asleep  V to Adj – be-  bewitch  N to V – en-  enslave  N to V • Class-maintaining prefixes: – in-  indefinite  Adj to Adj – fore-  foreman  N to N – Etc.
  • 30. 3. Suffixation • Suffixes forming Nouns –N from N: -dom  kingdom –N from V: -ee  employee –N from Adj: -ce  dependence
  • 31. Forming Verbs • Suffixes forming Verbs –V from N: -ify  beautify –V from Adj: -en  shorten
  • 32. Forming adjective, adverbs • Suffixes forming adjectives –Adj from N: -al  educational –Adj from V: -able  understandable –Adj from Adj: -ish  greenish • Suffixes forming Adverbs: -ly, -ward, and – wise
  • 33. 4. Conversion • Assigning an already existing word to a new syntactic category • Types of Conversion – Verb to Noun: to hit  a hit – Adj to N: a final game  a final – N to V: a sign  to sign – Adj to V: an empty box  to empty
  • 34. 5. Clipping • part of a free morpheme is cut off (i.e., shortening a polysyllabic word); often in casual speech prof. auto lab ad bike doc sub
  • 35. 6. Blends • similar to compounding • but parts of the free morphemes involved are lost • (usually 1st part of 1st word + end of 2nd word) brunch (breakfast+ lunch) smog (smoke+ fog) motel (motor+ hotel) newscast (news + broadcast) perma-press (permanent press)
  • 36. 7. Back-formations • A word (usually a noun) is reduced to form another word of a different type (usually a verb) editor edit donation donate burglar burgle zipper zip television televise babysitter babysit
  • 37. 8. Acronyms (1) • abbreviate a longer term by taking the initial letters A. follow the pronunciation patterns of Eng NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) TOEFL (Test of Eng. as a Foreign Language) AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration)
  • 38. Acronyms (2) B. If unpronounceable  each letter is sounded out separately ATM (automatic teller machine) I.Q. (intelligence quotient) MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) MTV (music television) TVBS (television broadcasting service) VCR (video cassette recorder)
  • 39. Acronyms (3) C. Customary to sound out each letter even if the combined initials can be pronounced. AIT (American Institute in Taiwan) UCLA (Univ. of California at Los Angeles)
  • 40. 9. Onomatopoeia • words imitate sounds in nature (or in technology) A dog: bow wow or woof-woof A clock: tick-tock A rooster: cock-a-doodle-doo A camera: click A duck: quack A cat: meow Ring of a bell: ding-dong A cow: moo A bee: buzz A snake: hiss
  • 41. 10. Eponyms • A person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named • Examples: –Celcius (Anders Celcius) –Cook Islands (James Cook)
  • 42. 11. Toponyms a place name, especially one derived from a topographical feature • Examples: – Montana (‘mountains’ in Spanish) – Mississippi (‘big river’ in Chippewa)
  • 43. 12. Reduplication full or partial repetition of a free morpheme; sometimes with variation full with variation so-so zigzag bye-bye dilly-dally hotch potch mishmash
  • 44. 13. Coining • Creating a completely new free morpheme, which is unrelated to any existing morphemes; a rare thing e.g. googol pooch Nylon
  • 45. Morphemes lexical free (open classes) Morphemes functional (closed classes) bound derivational (affixes) inflectional
  • 46. Summary of Morphology • Words consist of meaningful units called morphemes • These, when afixed to a root, can change the meaning or category of a word • Two basic forms of word formation – derivation (using derivational morphemes) – inflection • Key to remember is that morphemes are the smallest meaningful Units • Words have internal structure in a similar way to sentences